Thou shall not judge

I’ll admit it, it pushed my buttons. Big, huge buttons. It pushed them hard.

I was in my early morning yoga class. What a beautiful way to start the day. I was there to recharge, relax, and reinvigorate. To focus my mind and soul and day. To “stay on my own yoga mat” as I like to remind myself, and allow myself to be fueled for whatever lay ahead.

But there she was, someone I don’t know, about four mats down from me. And she was way too thin. I mean, way too thin.

My anorexia alarm was triggered and my sirens went off. “She’s anorexic,” I thought. “How awful. How she must be suffering. She needs help. How can I help her? What should I do?”

Since my own struggles with anorexia, I’ve been quick to notice it in others. Or at least to think I’ve noticed it in others. Sometimes I’ve been right, like with daughters of friends whom I’ve spent a week with. I’m in tune to the behaviors – lots of cooking and not so much eating, lots of exercise (and exercise and exercise) – and I like to offer support when I can.

But who’s to say I’ve always been right? And who’s to say I was right this morning? Because there could be numerous reasons why this person is so thin, some benign and some maybe not so benign. But either way, I didn’t know for sure what her story or situation was.

Thou shall not judge. Thou shall not condemn. Thou shall not make up stories about other people, when you don’t have all the facts. And by “thou” I mean “me.” Because these are important things for me to remember.

Sure, I want to be helpful and sure I want to offer support. But there is no way I knew fully what was going on, and either way, even if something is amiss and I notice it, I can view the situation and the person with compassion and love. Not judgment.

I came to my yoga mat this morning to find my best self. I’m pretty sure that at least most people in my class did the same. I can recognize their best selves with my best self. I can choose not to make up stories. I can choose to investigate the facts if I’m concerned. I can choose not to judge.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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3 thoughts on “Thou shall not judge

  1. Lisa,
    Thank you for this post! We are very aware of this young woman’s struggle.
    We are in communication with her on going and she is aware that we are concerned.

    Thank you for the love and concern that you have sent out. You are so right we do not know what that person is going through. We deal with all people at many levels of life and health and just the same with any community we will notice when someone/something does not seem right.
    We hope that with strength of community we can make a difference. Thank you so much for your concern and input.

    We are really in this together,

    Jane

  2. Thoughts and prayers are with you even from people who don’t know her. We are humanity, we are all in this together.

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